Klamath Falls, Ore. – The tallest building in Klamath Falls offers a glimpse into the town’s history, and also provides a job for two of the few elevator operators on the west coast.
The Oregon Bank Building at 9th and Main was built in 1929 at a cost of $300,000.
It took only 6 months to build.
“The idea when they built this building, was this was going to be what Medford eventually became.” Notes building owner Mike Hohman.
But, timing and economics took a toll on that plan.
“This building started its construction two weeks before Black Friday.” Hohman explains. “So the depression took a big chunk out of people’s plans, hopes and finances.”
Elevators at the ‘Medical-Dental Building’ are still operated by attendants.
“We’re one of around five on the west coast.” Points out Elevator Operator and General Manager David Filippe. “So we’re kind of a dying breed, but we love it.”
An open house was held Monday to mark the building’s 90th anniversary.
In some ways, the building is a living museum.
“That’s the intent.” Agrees Hohman. “That’s why every floor has historic pictures, more or less sequential in the history of the town.”
And that history is still being written.
All offices in the six story building are occupied, with a total of 48 tenants.
Hohman purchased the building 30 years ago.
The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
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